- New Angler
- Join date : 2010-08-24
"Doc" was the, then recently retired, Chief Pilot of American Airlines. He'd settled down on his 100+ acre farm, just outside Owasso, Oklahoma - not far from American Airline's Tulsa Airport Hq. His son, Wes, was my Big Brother Robert's age. Doc's ponds abutted each other, with earthen dams between them. Each of the dams had a spillway, so overflow from the most uphill, spring-fed, pond kept all 3 of them full, year'round, and none of them froze up in winter.
"Doc" let anyone fish his ponds -- for as long as they followed his few but firm rules:
- 1. Don't mess with his bull frogs;
- 2. If you catch a Large Mouth Bass in the top pond, throw it back - my first exposure to "Catch-n-Release" fishin';
- 3. If you catch a Large Mouth Bass in either of the other ponds, throw it into the next uphill pond, and;
- 4. If you catch anything else, either:
-- A. Take it home to eat, or;
-- B. Throw it far enough up on the bank so it won't be able to get back in the water & so his "Barn Cats" can eat it.
Those cats were 'tuned into' the sound of a pickup comin' through the back gate, 'cuz I could see them bounding acrross the pasture, before I got back in the truck after re-locking the gate, and they always beat us to the banks of the ponds. Their diligence was consistently rewarded with plenty of 'too-small to cook' pearch, brem, bluegill & small mouth bass. NOTE: The latter species' name is uncapitalized...indicating their low status, as compared to their higher-caste Large Mouth cousins.
Many years later, my Dad relished in telling [and re-telling] my Daughter and Nieces the tale about the day that "I FINALLY Saw the Light" about goin' Bass Fishin' with him.
The tale went something like this: "So, one day I asked yer'Ole'Man & yer'Uncle Mike, 'Ya wanna' go fishin' with me, out at Doc Ator's?' and he said, 'Awh, Dad, you don't want me to go fishin' with you...you just want me to run'round and catch your grasshoppers!' So, rather than loose my Grasshopper Catcher for good, I offered to buy him one of those Garcia spinnin'rigs...if he'd agree to catch grasshoppers for both of us."
Of course, I took him up on his offer and, subsequently, got pretty good at "Flippin'Hoppers" -- with a 'soft' flick of the wrist, so it didn't rip the hook outta' the hopper's back -- and watchin' them kick their way'round on the surface till they got sucked-down by a rod-bendin', drag'screamin' Monster from the Deep. I was, from the very first strike, more 'well & truly hooked' than any Bass I ever caught...then or since.
Bass Fishin'? Just the thought of it takes me back to my roots and feels good...REAL good...maybe as good as I ever have actually hookin'into a 5+ pound Large Mouth. But, I reckon that's "kind of an if'fy" maybe...
Last edited by Mike Davis on Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:19 pm; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : Formatting)